The effect of anterior cruciate ligament rupture on the timing and amplitude of gastrocnemius muscle activation: a study of alterations in EMG measures and their relationship to knee joint stability.

Abstract

Changes in hamstring and quadriceps activity are well known in individuals with anterior cruciate ligament deficiency (ACLD) to potentially compensate for knee joint instability. However, few studies have explored gastrocnemius activity or its relationship to knee stability. The purpose of this study was therefore to examine the activation characteristics of medial gastrocnemius (MG) in ACLD subjects and relate any changes to knee joint laxity. Two subject cohorts were assessed: those with unilateral ACLD (n=15) and uninjured control subjects (n=11). Surface EMG of the left and right MG were recorded during a controlled single leg hop on each limb. Onset and offset of MG activation relative to take-off, during flight and landing were calculated as well as muscle activity (RMS). Passive antero-posterior knee laxity was measured with a KT1000 arthrometer during a maximal manual displacement test. Medial gastrocnemius activity on the injured side of ACLD participants demonstrated significantly prolonged activation in preparation to hop, minimal muscle inactivity prior to take-off, and increased duration of overall muscle activity when compared to the uninjured side and control subjects (p<0.05). Significant positive correlations were found between passive knee joint laxity and prolonged activation prior to knee bend. RMS of the muscle signal was not significantly different between limbs. Overall, MG on the ACLD side demonstrated longer activation, with minimal rest during the hop test, which may be an attempt to maintain knee stability. Furthermore, the strong relationship between knee laxity and prolonged muscle activation suggests that individuals with a loss of knee stability are more reliant on active control of the gastrocnemius muscle.

DOI: 10.1016/j.jelekin.2012.01.013

Cite this paper

@article{Klyne2012TheEO, title={The effect of anterior cruciate ligament rupture on the timing and amplitude of gastrocnemius muscle activation: a study of alterations in EMG measures and their relationship to knee joint stability.}, author={David M Klyne and Susan L Keays and Joanne Elizabeth Bullock-Saxton and Peter Anthony Newcombe}, journal={Journal of electromyography and kinesiology : official journal of the International Society of Electrophysiological Kinesiology}, year={2012}, volume={22 3}, pages={446-55} }